You know how some places have great food, but the presentation is messy; or the presentation is incredibly beautiful, but the food is awful? Well that will never happen at Michaels at the Gallery. The food truly is magical and the plating is thoughtful and artful. Of course, you soon find that Michael not only owns and contributes to the art gallery, but he is just as creative and inspirational in his cooking.
This small venue has an outdoor kitchen, so you can watch a master at work. The limited, small, courtyard setting makes for an intimate evening. Sadly, he is only open on the weekend and I think, as of this writing, he is closed for the hot summer months. This will give him time to work on his passion – painting. But when they re-open at the start of high season, you’ll have to make your reservation!
I’ve eaten here several times, but this last evening we started with a delightful sampling of appetizers. Their famous Vietnamese Crab Cakes are 99.8% crab and the peanut dipping sauce is wonderful. The Spring Rolls were light and flavorful with a traditional fish dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham) which complemented the rolls. I had a UME cocktail which was made with an aged Japanese plum and wasn’t overly sweet. Perfect for pairing with Asian inspired seafood.
For the main course I had the Szechuan Shrimp & Scallops which was perfectly balanced with spices and heat. Other dishes included Steamed Fish in Wasabi/Teriyaki Sauce (I could drink the sauce, it was so good), Wok Tossed Fish with Chinese Black Bean, and Filet Mignon with Shiitake Cream Sauce. The filet is a very rich dish and the meat is always cooked to perfection.
We finished the meal with Pat’s homemade lemonade mini cupcakes. Lovely little sweets to end the evening and you never know what kind of cupcake she’ll make. They’re all good.
When Michael’s reopens this next season, he’s thinking of adding one night in a prix fixe style. Although prix fixe menus are common in Europe, they're still somewhat of a novelty to most Americans and a unique offering in Mexico. A prix fixe menu is simply a collection of predetermined items presented as a multi-course meal at a set price. From what I understand from Michael, he will offer only the prix fixe option on that particular evening. But I’m sure that whatever the offering is, it will be interesting, exotic, and unforgettable—all in a good way!
With a passion for sourcing from local farmers and fishermen, and for using organic whenever he can get it, Michael makes sure that dishes presented are as fresh as possible. If it’s on the menu, it’s super fresh!
Since this is a small restaurant with limited seating, reservations are highly recommended. If you can’t get a reservation, you can always try your luck around 7:30-8:00pm. A table might open up and you could be the lucky winner.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.